Christine Harbison Owner, ERYT500, AHC, CPT, WAET
I love yoga and like most when I started I believed it was just an exercise routine and it twisted you up like a pretzel. As my learning and training evolved I soon began to realize it's a lifestyle, a lifestyle that I was drawn to because I was slowly over time finding out who "I" really was. I began to drop all the "labels" and "assumptions" of what I "thought" my life should be and just started to live life to the fullest.
I earned my 200-hour certification right here in Buffalo at the Himalayan Institute on Delaware Ave. I continued my studies at the Himalayan Institutes ashram in Honesdale PA gaining my 500-hour certification. I Then continued with earning an Ayurvedic Health counselor certification, and Wellness Coach Certification. I am also an ACE certified personal training and health coach.
I turned my focus to using my yoga teaching to support others. I began with yoga therapy courses and then became involved with Warriors at Ease, an organization that brings yoga and meditation to veterans and active military communities. I have my level one and now level two certification. The focus of the work is serving all military, with a major focus on PTS, TBI, MST limb loss, and burns. I am currently working on iRest level one, iRest is a Yoga Nidra technique (yogic sleep, an accessible form of meditation) developed by Richard Miller and used at the Walter Reed National Medical Center for many years.
Yoga offers so much and can be so many things to so many people. It is for all people and my goal is to share this amazing practice with anyone and everyone.
Carolyn: RYT500, AYS
My yoga journey began at a local gym. I first walked into a yoga class because I had a personal trainer who suggested that I take a group class. I think cardio kick or body sculpt was more of what she had in mind, but those classes did not appeal to me. I remember thinking that yoga seemed cool, I liked stretching and an early morning class would fit my schedule. I was a typical yoga beginner. I found a spot in the back corner, hiding as best I could. I would rubberneck constantly.
I looked around the room at everyone else, trying to figure out where to put my body and limbs when asked to, “move into a triangle pose” or any other pose for that matter. But after class, I felt great! I kept going back until it just became part of my routine.
Over the next few years, my interest in yoga began to grow. I moved to the front of the class. I started to take more yoga classes and with different instructors, Christine being one of them. I even moved my mat to the front of the room!
My attention began to shift to proper alignment in poses. I bought a book on yoga anatomy and took a yoga 101 workshop. Then the seed was planted… “why don’t you think about teaching yoga.” It was more of a statement than a question. I began thinking, why not? Teaching yoga sounds pretty cool. My personal yoga practice has grown and made me feel better both inside and out. So why not teach and share this experience with others?
Within the next year, one of the yoga teachers at the gym told me she would be moving. She asked me if I would consider being her replacement and teach the class after she moved. After about a year of teaching at the gym, I enrolled in the Himalayan Institute’s 200-hour teacher certification course here in Buffalo. I am enjoying my ongoing journey through life and yoga. My hope for any individual who decides to give yoga a try is that they begin to enjoy their own journey too.